Applying for extramural funding is an integral part of any graduate career. Research grants and fellowships will provide you with crucial financial support as you pursue your course of study as well as bring distinction to your scholarly endeavors. Grants will typically support research related expenses while a fellowship will provide you with a stipend which should free you from additional work obligations while you pursue your course of study and research.
Timing is a crucial element for securing grants and fellowships as a graduate student. The grants and fellowships available to you will depend on your stage of study. There are grants and fellowships specifically for pre-dissertation work, dissertation research, dissertation writing and postdoctoral work. Each stage of funding will have different eligibility requirements, as defined by the funder, and the typical conventions for a stage of study. In some ways, stages of graduate study can be fixed and in others, fluid. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the funder guidelines and requirements for a specific award. Your stage of graduate study may make you ineligible for some awards and the fact that you have applied for one type of funding may make you ineligible for another type of funding.
Applying for funding is a time consuming task. Therefore, you will want to be sure to focus your efforts on the applications that make the most sense in terms of your stage of graduate study and scholarly goals. For example, it is not a good idea to apply for pre-dissertation and post doctoral research grants in the same application cycle. An effective application strategy is to build an application plan or calendar so you can develop a plan for developing and submitting fellowship and grant applications as you progress through your degree requirements.
A good starting point to develop your grant and fellowship application plan is the GradFund Database where you can research grants and fellowships. Each fellowship and grant on the GradFund database is labeled with a tag or set of tags that describes the level of graduate study it supports (master’s degree, pre-dissertation, dissertation research, dissertation writing, postdoctoral). Use these tags along with the award’s deadline to help you develop an application plan. Rutgers graduate students should also schedule an individual appointment for a planning meeting so a fellowship advisor can help you refine your list of grants and fellowships and you application plan.
Navigating the funding landscape successfully is easy to do with the right tools and guidance. Visit GradFund today to map out your scholarly future.